Jun 28th, 2017
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are the second-most common infection a person can experience and they account for almost 25 percent of all infections in the elderly, particularly those in long term care facilities, according to the National Institutes of Health.
For young, healthy adults, the symptoms are pretty straightforward – burning with urination, frequent or intense urges to urinate and cloudy, dark or bloody urine. But for seniors, identifying the infection isn’t so simple because it often presents like symptoms of behavioral illness.
Among older adults, the presence of infection can cause significant changes in an individual’s behavior - causing them to become confused and disoriented. This confusion can produce rapid changes in the patient’s mental state such as agitation, increased difficulty concentrating, hallucinations and becoming overly sleepy or withdrawn.
UTIs can also can temporarily exacerbate the symptoms of certain mental disorders among patients already suffering from Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, or other forms of dementia.
Recognizing UTI Signs and Symptoms in Older Patients
Diagnosing UTIs in older patients can be more challenging because they don't always exhibit the hallmark sign of fever and may not be able to communicate how they feel. Among elderly patients presenting with increased signs of confusion, agitation or withdrawal, the additional presence of the following symptoms may indicate infection:
Risk Factors Unique to the Elderly
Urinary Tract Infections account for more than a third of all nursing home-associated infections, often associated with other medical factors such as:
Prevention is the best defense against UTIs in elderly:
If you have questions about your elderly patient’s onset of behavioral health symptoms and have ruled out a UTI, consult with the highly-trained clinical team at Oceans Behavioral Hospital for a behavioral health assessment.
If you are having a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1.
Please do not request emergency medical services via this contact form.
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5850 Granite Parkway
Plano, TX 75024
PHONE (972) 464-0022
FAX (972) 464-0021
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